21 Jul 2015
- NTUC Income's Future Development Programme aims to create a better future through education for students who are likely to drop out of school to support their families;
- Besides bursary funding, NTUC Income will offer financial literacy lessons, personal and career development, as well as provide work opportunities for these students.
SINGAPORE, 21 July 2015 – NTUC Income has announced that it will commit $2.5 million to help needy students studying in the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and polytechnics.
The latest Future Development Programme will offer 1,000 bursaries over three years to students from low-income families who are likely to forego tertiary education in favour of entering the workforce to support their families. The bursaries will provide students from polytechnics $3,000 annually; while those from ITE will receive $1,800 a year. Beyond helping with their school fees, the bursary funding is designed to assist with the living expenses of these students so that they have more time to concentrate on their education.
The Future Development Programme is a new initiative under NTUC Income’s flagship OrangeAid fund. Said Mr Ken Ng, Chief Executive of NTUC Income: “OrangeAid strives to level the playing field and provide equal opportunities for children and youth from disadvantaged circumstances. Through the Future Development Programme, we want to make an impact by ensuring that youth from lower income families can secure a better future through education.”
Besides monetary assistance, NTUC Income will empower the chosen students by enhancing their financial literacy, as well as provide opportunities for their personal and career development.
Financial literacy and financial planning training will help the students make sound financial decisions – training that is essential to those from low income families. NTUC Income will also provide these students internship programmes and contract jobs at NTUC Income during their vacation, career profiling and guidance, and the opportunity to work at NTUC Income upon graduation.
“I am delighted that co-operatives like NTUC Income are coming forth to assist needy students. The bursaries awarded by NTUC Income’s OrangeAid will complement the existing financial assistance schemes at the educational institutions,” said Ms Serene Koh, Director of Student Services, Ngee Ann Polytechnic. “I am sure that the bursaries will ease the families’ financial burden and allow the recipients to continue with their education.”
Added Mr Bruce Poh, Director & Chief Executive Officer of ITE: “More than just extending financial assistance to our needy students, NTUC Income’s Future Development Programme provides opportunities for our students to learn about financial planning and management at a young age. This is a skill that will last them throughout their lifetime. The offer of internships and contract positions will also provide our students with the real experience of working in financial institutions. This is consistent with ITE’s mission of providing young Singaporeans with the opportunities to acquire skills, knowledge and values for employability and lifelong learning.”
Some 200 students from both the five polytechnics and ITE will receive the bursaries for the first year. The number will double to 400 in 2016, and 400 in 2017.
Students will apply for the bursary through their schools. Among the students who have been accepted is Syaryan Ruziani, a first-year nursing student from Ngee Ann Polytechnic.
Syaryan lost his father last year. Following the passing of his father, the 19-year-old’s family, which comprises his mother, grandmother and two sisters, have been living off his father’s CPF savings, financial support from schools for Syaryan and his younger sister, as well as $5,000 provided by NTUC Income’s Income Family Micro-Insurance Scheme (IFMIS). Syaryan also works part-time to supplement his family’s finances.
“I am delighted to be chosen to receive NTUC Income’s Future Development Programme,” said Syaryan. “The bursary is a big help in reducing my family’s financial load. The additional funds will also enable me to spend more time on my studies so that I can achieve better grades, which will help me realise my dream of becoming a staff nurse.”
He added: “My late father would have been proud of me for making it to polytechnic. I aim to continue working hard so that one day I will be able to provide for my family.”
NTUC Income’s OrangeAid fund is its flagship Corporate Social Responsibility vehicle established in 2010. Under OrangeAid, NTUC Income commits one per cent of its annual insurance operating profits to help children and youth from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Other key initiatives under OrangeAid includes the Income Family Micro-Insurance Scheme, a free insurance that pays out $5,000 in the event the main caregiver of low-income families with young children passes away or becomes totally and permanently disabled.
Currently, OrangeAid also provides funding for seven beneficiaries, including specialised schools such as Spectra Secondary School, Assumption Pathway School, Crest Secondary School and Northlight School.
Part of funding for OrangeAid comes in the form of Orange RoundUp, where over 20,000 NTUC Income policyholders round up their GIRO premiums payments, or through outright donations. The first in Singapore’s insurance industry to use a secure and trusted financial mechanism for philanthropy, 100 per cent of OrangeAid RoundUp donations go to the beneficiaries.
To participate in donating to OrangeAid, please go to www.income.com.sg/orangeaid/donate.html.
In conjunction with the launch of Future Development Programme, NTUC Income has produced a short film to increase awareness of OrangeAid and the plight of students in need. The story of Siew Fang in the film reflects the experience of some of Future Development Programme’s beneficiaries. NTUC Income hopes that with more support to such students, no one would have to sacrifice their future because of financial hardship.